Happy Mother’s Day

My Mother

My Mother

A few nights ago, I was attempting to make pancakes. Nothing complex, just add water, stir, and pour into a hot pan, then flip. 

I hadn’t made pancakes since moving to Los Angeles, and I haven’t gotten the hang of using the gas powered stove I have now. So I got my temperature and timing all wrong, and the pancakes ended up sticking to the pan and turning out a doughy mess. I won’t be competing on Hell’s Kitchen anytime soon.

And as I was standing there over my pancake disaster, attempting to spread butter across the wreckage, I reached for the pancake syrup and remembered my mother. 

When I was a kid, my mother made pancakes often, usually on Sunday mornings before church. She is a master in the kitchen, and her pancakes almost always turned out fluffy and just so. But she also did little things that made the experience more enjoyable, like heating the bottle of syrup in a pan of water on the stove before serving breakfast.

Sometimes in our failures we can appreciate how apparently effortless someone else can make it all look. And that is true of my mother. When I was a kid, she made managing the household, planning and cooking meals, and taking care of all the necessary daily details look simple.

So on this Mother’s Day, I take a moment to remember all those pancake breakfasts of years ago, and remember the love that went into all of them.

To Blog or Not To Blog Daily

As part of getting this website and blog up and running again, I installed Twitter Tools, a plugin that lets my recent tweets appear in the right hand column, which is very cool and ubiquitous in the blogging world these days.

Twitter Tools also has a little function that will create a daily and/or weekly digest of your tweets which it posts automatically. This, too, is very cool. I had seen the results on other blogs and liked seeing the posts slipstreamed with other posts.

However, I don’t blog daily. And because I don’t blog daily, having a page of automated Twitter digests on my home isn’t very attractive. So I need to make a decision: begin blogging daily, or turn off the daily digest.

I may make a run at blogging daily. But until then, I’m going to turn off the daily tweet digest.

If you MUST see what I’m tweeting about, you can get the same information a couple of other places:

Embarrassing Blog Posts

Obsessively Googling my name, I found these lovely nuggets.

Facebook — late to the bandwagon again
Thursday, 20 September 2007

So I set up a Facebook page. I knew you were waiting for that.

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

I still think services like Twitter are a solution in search of a problem, but hey, I’ll give it a try.


Follow me!

Now look at me…

Rocking the WordPress

Server Migration Aftermath

So my web hosting company finally completed a server move that took way too long: just today I managed to get WordPress installed and configured properly, posted a couple of items I had recently composed, and knocked up a design that looks half decent. Woo hoo!

Not that I really need a personal website or blog, for the most part, since my FaceBook page (with Twitter status updates) has my day-to-day lifeblogging needs met. But, and this is a big but, I do need a place on the web for my personal portfolio, which is the main reason I keep this site going.

Lifelong Learning

In the first incarnation of this site, I used pMachine, then an up-and-comer that achieved some success then morphed into Expression Engine, I understand. I was never a fan of pMachine even though I used it for three or four years, and it wasn’t a technology we ever implemented for a customer, so I never dug into the guts very deep.

After pMachine, I gave Joomla a try as a blogging platform. We use Joomla (and Mambo before it) at my day job — Joomla is the CMS engine on top of which we build all of our client sites. I know Joomla pretty well. Well enough, in fact, to be deeply annoyed by how it works. So I was beyond ready to try a different CMS the next time I did a redesign.

Now, in this third version of the site, I’m going with WordPress. Although I was tempted to give something like Concrete5 or Silverstripe a try, I decided to stick with WordPress and see how I like it as a CMS.

So this site rebuild is as much about learning more about WordPress as anything.

In the life of…

When last I blogged, I was about to move to Los Angeles, CA, from Memphis, TN. The move was completed about three weeks ago. Los Angeles is extremely cool. The weather has been fantastic, sunny but cool nearly all the time. The weather is near-tropical — we have a flock of about 5 green parrots that feast on the loquat tree by our front door.

Choosing to live in Alhambra was a great choice — I’m in walking distance of just about anything I might need: grocery stores, restaurants, movie theaters, coffee shops, and more. (I do wish there was a good book store nearby. Getting to a Barnes and Noble is a short drive.)

Between unpacking and getting caught up with my day job, I’ve been pretty busy. But I have found time to visit Venice Beach, do some shopping in West Hollywood, and attend a book signing at Book Soup.

Still new to the LA area, my goal is to get involved with some of the design and interactive groups to get some networking going. So look out, Los Angeles, here I come.

Brush with Greatness: Dooce Book Signing

To Wayne, Much LoveLast night I had my first “brush with greatness” since moving to Los Angeles. And this is a story for everyone who claims noone ever made money off of Twitter.

I discovered Heather B. Hamilton (aka Dooce) several months ago while I was still living in Memphis, TN. I spotted a reference to @dooce — one of my Twitter friends had replied to her — and the name caught my eye. Curious, I hit her website and discovered www.dooce.com and became a fan. I really enjoy her sense of humor and general outlook on life.

Earlier in the week, I saw her post that she was going to be at Book Soup in LA on April 2. So last night, we made the trek from our home in Alhambra to West Hollywood for the reading / signing.

It was a lot of fun. Heather was as funny and charming in person as I was expecting. She signed my copy of the book and I think I managed to get away without letting my star struck adolescent self make too big a fool of me.

Now think about this interaction for a moment. Heather is a writer. I found her first on Twitter. I became a fan of her work on her blog which I typically read via RSS in Google Reader. I travelled across town to a book signing at a book store I had not (yet) visited in person. And finally I purchased a book while I was there. 

I can’t say that I would have ever discovered her if I hadn’t been on Twitter at just the right moment. 

I think it is fair to say that being on Twitter was profitable for Heather. She is reaching an audience that might otherwise never find her. And since I have become a fan, I have been sharing her site with my friends (and the whole world) on my blog, on Twitter, and on Facebook, among other places.

Chalk one up for Twitter. If your business isn’t on Twitter, you’re leaving money on the table.